We’re continuing our Veganuary focus on plant-based cuisine with a look at the not so humble mushroom – the fruiting body of a fungus to give it its proper description! Mushrooms have been getting a lot of press recently for a whole variety of reasons – including their nutritional benefits.
Once an afterthought on a pizza, mushrooms are now firmly in the limelight. They’re a great substitute for meat and are being used in ever more ingenious ways – from portobello pot roasts to mushroom mac n cheese to mushroom bacon. Beyond their rich umami flavour, mushrooms are nutritional powerhouses, offering an array of health benefits.
Varieties like Shiitake, Maitake, and Reishi are gaining popularity for their unique flavours and medicinal properties. Shiitake mushrooms, known for their savoury taste, contain compounds that boost the immune system and may have anti-cancer properties.
Maitake mushrooms are celebrated for potential blood sugar regulation and cardiovascular benefits. Reishi, dubbed the “mushroom of immortality,” has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The trend extends to versatile and protein-rich Portobello mushrooms, heralded as a meat substitute in various dishes.
These fungi are low in calories, high in fibre, and packed with essential nutrients like vitamin D and B-vitamins. With their earthy, satisfying taste and diverse health benefits, mushrooms are becoming a staple in modern, health-conscious kitchens, contributing to a delicious and nutritious culinary landscape.